Archives for March 22nd, 2006

BUILDING FLEXIBILITY: NEW DELIVERY MODELS FOR PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 22 March, 2006

A report from Deloitte on the future of infrastructure development in the public sector argues that current PFI structures are unlikely to address all of the challenges of future infrastructure requirements. A broader and more flexible range of approaches needs to be considered in order to deliver critical policy objectives. There is increasing uncertainty over the way in which the provision of public services will be managed, and policy and accounting changes are putting increasing pressure on the current models used for their delivery.The PFI is best suited to large projects in conditions of relative certainty. The LIFT (NHS) and Local Education Partnership models can extend the reach of PFI, but concerns have been expressed regarding their value for money due to a lack of competitive pressure. Importantly, there are significant risks from using either of these models where there is real uncertainty about the nature of future requirements. The Deloitte report analyses several new models which are emerging to help address challenges currently facing the delivery of infrastructure projects include PFI schemes in which the public sector underwrites some of the financial risk.

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SCHOOLS AND POLICE FORCES URGED TO LOOK AT PARTNERSHIPS

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 March, 2006

Schools and police forces are to be encouraged to work together to deal with problems of pupil behaviour and to tackle youth crime, through the Safer Schools Partnership scheme. New guidelines have been issued to help in the creation of more of the partnerships, which were originally launched in target areas under the Street Crime Initiative in 2002.The guidelines set out steps for the formation of partnerships, which could include basing police officers in schools as a way of improving pupil behaviour and dealing with attendance problems. The measure could also reduce bullying through restorative justice schemes. Other possibilities are the use of designated officers to liaise with schools as part of neighbourhood policing teams and local police forces working with schools and bus and train companies to improve the behaviour of pupils travelling to and from schools.

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COUNCIL LEADERS ISSUE PLAN TO TACKLE LIGHT POLLUTION

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 March, 2006

Council leaders have produced a three-point plan on ways to deal with light pollution. From next month anyone who finds artificial light a nuisance will be able to ask their local authority to deal with the problem under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, which will treat light pollution as a criminal offence. Failure to comply with the new law could lead to fines of up to 5,000 pounds.The Local Government Association says that from April 6th environmental health officers will provide advice on light pollution as well as offering mediation in disputes and serving abatement orders where necessary. The LGA is behind the three-point plan to help residents crack down on light pollution. It suggests recording the problem with a detailed note of times and dates of nuisance and, if possible, taking photographs for evidence; speaking to the light owner to see if a compromise is possible and, if a compromise cannot be reached, contacting the local council.

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